Considering a move to Singapore?
Moving abroad can be a difficult process, and if you have done so before, you’d know that every country has its pros and cons.
If you are an expat and are seriously considering a move, this “exit interview” is some of the most honest feedback you are going to get about living in Singapore.
So what are some of the living in Singapore pros and cons? Here is our take on it.
Living in Singapore Pros and Cons
Let us start with the good news.
Probably the number one thing that most tourists would remark among landing in Singapore. Singapore is CLEAN. Especially if you have been to other countries in South East Asia, Singapore is practically a haven in comparison. So if you are somewhat averse to dirty streets, living in Singapore will be perfect for you.
Pretty much linked to cleanliness, being organised is what Singapore is famous for. The road planning and transportation is well organised, and you would not get much of the chaos and mess that you might encounter in Thailand or Vietnam. Most things run here like clockwork, and you can expect a certain level of reliability in public services.
The public transportation system in Singapore is very efficient, as much as Singaporeans like to complain about it. Also because of high car prices in Singapore, and the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), traffic during peak hours (although heavy) is nowhere like the traffic congestion in Bangkok or Jakarta.
Another major plus for living in Singapore is safety. Singapore is renowned for being one of the safest cities in the world. Crime rates are extremely low, and you can walk in the streets late at night and not have to worry much about getting mugged.
Singapore is well known for expensive real estate, but at that pricing level you can expect to have a good standard of living as well. Public housing, or HDBs are clean and well built. Condominiums in Singapore have many facilities that really elevate the lifestyle, private swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts. In an effort to stand out, some of them even have karaoke rooms and putting greens!
To some people, the weather in Singapore can be too hot. But if you have lived overseas before, and having to deal with the unpredictable four seasons, the constant summer weather in Singapore can be a godsend. Imagine not having to clear snow off your car or waiting for the car to heat up on winter mornings. You no longer have to store your winter clothing every summer, it is just one constant temperature throughout the year in Singapore.
Now for the cons.
1. Cost of living in Singapore
Singapore is definitely not the cheapest place to live. Because of its small size, accommodation is on the high end compared to the rest of Asia. So if you are working in the CBD area and want to stay near work, expect to pay a sizeable sum in rent. Also, if your expat package does not included rental expenses, it would be a good idea to check out rental prices first to see if you can still maintain your standard of living.
As you know, Singapore is not a big country at all. The upside is that you can get almost anywhere around the country in less than an hour. But the downside of that would be the limitations of space. If you want to live in the main central region, do not expect to live in big apartments.
Just to clarify, we are not referring to income tax here, as Singapore’s income tax rate is actually one of the lowest. The taxes we are talking about here is actually taxes for alcohol and cigarettes. So if these form a big part of your lifestyle, be prepared to allocate more budget to it.
As much as public transportation is a pro in Singapore, owing your own car in Singapore is quite a huge con. Although as of now the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) is at a low, owning a car in Singapore is still seriously expensive. Not to mention the taxes, and ERP, the convenience of having a car comes at a really high price.
One thing you can be sure of in Singapore, is access to quality healthcare. But if you have to resort to going to private hospitals, this can also get quite expensive.
Here comes the end of our living in Singapore pros and cons list, are there any major ones that we have missed out?
If so, let us know in the comments below!